November 27, 2012 - Comments Off on SEO: Getting it right from the start

SEO: Getting it right from the start

This is the first of a series of “How to SEO” blog posts that we’ll be running in the lead-up to our Search and Digital Marketing Surgery on 6th December. Over the next few posts, our award-winning search team will be describing what optimising for search means at an introductory level. First up, search exec James Leonard talks us through getting the basics right…

SEO – search engine optimisation -is seen as a dark art that only a handful of people really understand and everyone else copying what they do.

Well, let me tell you, this is definitely not the case. SEO is about setting down foundations, then building upon these solid footings to create a website optimised for humans and search engines.

When optimising a page for SEO there are a number of elements that must be implemented before you seven start thinking what you want to ‘rank number one forYou need to optimise pages for search engines to semantically understand the context and relevance of a page.

Let’s say we have a target market in mind, have conducted a technical SEO audit of the website and have done extensive competitor analysis. We’ve also completed painstaking keyword research, and now have a list of target keywords and keyphrases we would like to rank highly for. We know these carefully-selected phrases provide a good number of monthly UK searches.

This is where on-page SEO comes into play – it forms the basis of a long-term strategy. We might want to optimise a certain target page for one, two or even three different, but related, keyphrases. To do this we need to ensure these keyphrases appear in the most important and relevant places within the page, but in a natural manner.

The key areas to include target keyphrases are:

  • URL structure (where possible)

<Head>

  • Meta title tag
  • Meta description tag

<Body>

  • H1 – (Heading tag)
  • H2, H3 – (if applicable)
  • Main page content (this is very important, and must be 100% unique content!)
  • Image alt tags
  • Internal links

Now, this is a very simple on-page SEO example, but so many sites do not get this right from the beginning – it’s something I have seen time and time again.

You don’t build a house without laying solid foundations – why should SEO be any different?

We are holding an SEO surgery open day for businesses to drop in – register free today and pop into Bloom for an informal chat and some SEO advice from the team.  If you can’t make the trip, check back on the blog for SEO advice updates and take a look at SEOMoz , which is a great online resource.